Bear Creek (0-1) at East Union (0-1): After dropping opener to Orestimba, Lancers must start winning now before competition stiffens up in league. (26-22, East Union)
Edison (0-1) at Manteca (1-0): Manteca will be tested by the athleticism of the Vikings, who were able to break big plays against North Section’s top-ranked team last week. (38-20, Manteca).
Sierra (1-1) at Laguna Creek (1-0): This is Sierra’s last chance to put four full quarters together before bye week, VOL opener against preseason favorite Oakdale. (41-15, Sierra).
Ripon (2-0) at Ripon Christian (1-0): Ripon Rivalry Bowl has been dominated by the Indians, who face an improved, yet still-unproven, RC squad. (31-14, Ripon).
McClatchy (0-1) at Lathrop (0-1): Spartans hung with powerhouse Escalon for a half last week, and the rest of their non-league opponents are nowhere near as daunting. (28-14, Lathrop).
Weston Ranch (1-0) at Tokay (1-1): WR coach Mike Hale is 0-3 against his alma mater, but his Cougars are hungry after competitive loss to Calaveras. (34-28, Weston Ranch).
Last week: 5-1 (8-1 overall).
Ripon Christian’s football team made a huge statement with its 40-0 zero-week victory over Big Valley Christian, a Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI semifinalist last year.
On top of producing its first shutout in two years — 49-0 over Delhi on Sept. 11, 2009 — RC unleashed a new and improved offense anchored by an experienced line and dynamic skill athletes QB Danny Vos and sophomore RB Andrew Brown.
Vos threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 48 and one score. Brown rambled for 72 yards and three TDs on 13 carries and also caught four passes for 115 yards and two more scores.
Now rested from a bye week, the Knights will march across the street to “host” rival Ripon High Friday for the sixth installment of the Ripon Rivalry Bowl.
The bad news for Ripon Christian is that the Indians (2-0) have also improved offensively.
Ripon is averaging over 400 yards of offense (143.5 passing, 316 rushing), and the Wing-T attack is getting contributions everywhere.
Junior running backs Josh McCreath (39 rushes, 222 yards, 2 TDs) and Anthony Baciocco (38-253-2) are pounding away for the tough yards, and 6-foot, 4-inch Jake McCreath (11 rushes, 78 yards; 9 receptions, 117 yards, TD) is a mismatch nightmare for defenses.
Wide out Cole Herrin (10 receptions, 133 yards, 3 TDs), meanwhile, is picking up where he left off from a fine sophomore campaign.
But the biggest surprise has been junior QB Kyle Wengel. His emergence has allowed Ripon to use the talents of Jake McCreath, a part-time signal caller last year, elsewhere. So far, Wengel has completed 65 percent of his passes for 287 yards and five touchdowns two interceptions.
That is a lot of Ripon Christian to handle on Friday as it tries to notch its first victory in the Ripon Rivalry Bowl series. To make it competitive would be a big step after losing the previous five by an average margin of 38.6 points.
Edison at Manteca
Edison’s non-league schedule is brutal to say the least, opening with consecutive road games against powerhouses at Paradise, Manteca Merced.
Last week, the Vikings lost 35-13 to the top-ranked team in the North Section and gave up 375 yards on the ground. Edison, however, proved capable of making big plays on both sides of scrimmage. Offensively, they are led by a very athletic quarterback, Lashawn Jameison.
Look for Manteca to try and control the pace of the game with its balanced attack. In last week’s 55-7 drubbing of Galt, QB Alex Martinez threw for 246 yards and two scores, while the Buffaloes had nine different ball carriers contribute to the team’s 270 rushing yards.
Bear Creek at East Union
Tokay scored 27 points in the first quarter en route to a 41-19 win over Bear Creek in Week 1.
That bodes well for East Union, which struggled in the first half in its 28-15 loss to Orestimba. Sophomore QB Joe Menzel and the offense did get it going eventually and looked impressive once it did; Menzel completed 20 of 33 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.
Bear Creek has itself a big-play QB as well in the form of Olahjuan Rayford, who had a hand in both of the Bruins’ TDs (12-yard run, 7-yard pass) last week.
Sierra at Laguna Creek
Laguna Creek is coming off down years since last making the playoffs in 2008. The Cardinals hope to right the ship behind QB Kyle Shepherd and RB Antwon Major, who each ran for over 100 yards and a TD in an 18-6 win over Florin.
Sierra has had an up-and-down preseason so far, struggling to play four full quarters. Second-year junior RB Anthony Cota (309 yards, 5 TDs) has shined, as has the Timberwolves’ defense.
McClatchy at Lathrop
Last year, Lathrop produced its first varsity win at the expense of McClatchy. That came after a loss to eventual Division-III state champion Escalon.
The Spartans are again coming off a loss to Escalon but were more competitive this time, at least for a half. There were enough positives gained from that game for them to come in with some confidence against a squad that got trounced by Woodland 46-6 last week.
Weston Ranch at Tokay
The Cougars proved to be no pushover in their 27-15 loss to tradition-rich Calaveras in Week 1. It doesn’t get any easier for them with Tokay.
After having to deal with Calaveras’ power run game, they must find a way to slow down quarterback Kelse DePauli-Wiltse, who has thrown for 466 yards and six touchdowns to one interception in two games. His favorite receiver is 6-1 Ryan Rojgero (14 receptions, 298 yards, 3 TDs).